The Hague, Jan 22: Ajax opened the Eredivisie year with a 2-0 win over Feyenoord in the most classic match of Dutch football, throwing their Rotterdam rivals out of the title race.
With new coach Erik ten Hag, who succeeded Marcel Keizer by the end of December, Ajax were the better side in Amsterdam but the home team failed to create chances. Feyenoord defended well and did not have any problems, reports Xinhua news agency.
The second half was different. New signing Nicolas Tagliafico delivered the cross and Donny van de Beek needed two touches to surprise Feyenoord defence and tipped in the opening goal in the 50th minute. Three minutes later Klaas-Jan Huntelaar headed in the second goal.
After Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen being sent off for receiving his second yellow card in the 59th minute, the visitors were unable to cause Ajax any trouble.
Also on Sunday, PSV left it late at Heracles Almelo (2-1 win). After Steven Bergwijn gave PSV the lead at the stroke of half-time, Heracles equalized through a penalty by Jeff Hardeveld. In the third minute into injury time, Luuk de Jong handed PSV the three points by finishing a cross by substitute Albert Gudmundsson.
With the late win, league leaders PSV kept the gap of five points with Ajax after 19 match rounds. AZ are 10 points behind the leaders, followed by PEC Zwolle and reigning champions Feyenoord.